Fight or submit to a change?

A few days ago we received an email from attorneys of the Twisted Sister, 80’s band, telling us how we violated the Federal Trademark law. They are claiming that by using the name Twisted Sisters Design/Creative and domain, we are causing a dilution and confusion amongst consumers.

twisted sisters creative - trademark law

Do they really think that people will not see/know the difference between a rock band and two sisters designers and crafters? And if you need ones info/services would you be that easily confused if you came across the other?

They are also saying that nobody can use the name Twisted Sister or any variation of the name.twisted sisters creative - trademark lawtwisted sisters creative - trademark law

Don’t get us wrong we are not against the trademark law, we support the right to register and therefore defend your name. But to what extend can this go? When did they get the right on the use of whole words?

twisted sisters creative - trademark law

With a little research (thank you Internet :)), we found out that they are actually on a “Cease and Desist” spree. Turns out that there are 7 (and probably more) businesses, that got the same “threatening” mail. Now we are thinking: are they big bullies or just desperate for attention?
And if there are so many businesses that can live and work together in peace with the same name, why is this band so special?
Some of the businesses that are affected: The Twisted Sister House of Hunger, Twisted Sisters Cupcakes, Twisted Sisters Hair Salon etc..

twisted sisters creative - trademark law

So now we formed a fighting group of small businesses against “the Big Band”. All the medias are used and news are included: CBS Minnesota, 9 News, Kare 11
If you support us spread the word, share, like etc 🙂 Tx!

So what do you think, should we fight for the name or succumb to the change? You never know, change might be good… And we might need to come up with a new name, do you have any suggestions?

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8 thoughts on “Fight or submit to a change?

  1. snappytatter says:

    This is just my humble opinion but if someone else used the words “Snappy Tatter” in their domain or business in any way, I would be fighting for them to stop as well. I wouldn’t want anyone to use the name I have built my business around in any way because what they do may reflect back on my business in a negative or confusing manner. The first thing I thought of when I subscribed to your posts was that Twisted Sister is a band and I wondered if you could use those words for your business.

    I have to think…what if someone used the words Snappy Tatter and spoke out politically and I became associated with their views? Or what if it was a (tongue in cheek) name for an escort service? Or another company that rose to fame and drowned out the impact of my small business in search engines (I currently come up first)? All of things could seriously and negatively impact my teeny little business. i would find a lawyer and fight for my name.

    Again, this is my opinion. I asked my husband what he thought and he felt the same. Trademark and Copyright laws are there to protect large and small businesses just the same. I don’t think they are going over-board, probably just cracking down because the band isn’t particularly popular right now. But that is what their legal team is for.

    Husband suggests:
    Stitched Sisters
    Warped Sisters
    Looped Sisters
    Darned Sisters
    Sewed Sisters
    Unraveled Sisters….we like that one

    Hope this is helpful. And good luck in your decision.

    • Thank you for your comment. We do agree with you about protecting your mark and name, as we said, we are not against Trademark law… after all it is there for a reason. We where just wondering how far can they push the claims of dilution and confusion. For example if somebody called their fast food Snappy House of Tatter do you think you should have the right to sue them?
      Unfortunately, we found out that you can’t claim violations of dilution and confusion unless you have a famous trademark which you have to prove. So in that way trademark law is not the same for small and big businesses.
      Thank you for your opinion and suggestions, we appreciate it very much 🙂
      Love the names. Unraveled Sisters is also our favorite.
      It is helpful. Thanks.

      • snappytatter says:

        Hi again. I definitely would let it pass if someone used Snappy Tatter as “Snappy House of Tatters”. That is too different from my name. I would be more concerned with someone using “Snappy Tatter” and adding an “s” or a word after it. If someone said “Snappy Tatters” or “Snappy Tatters Design” I would look into it no matter what product or service they were selling. I guess what they are bringing up is that it’s not the business behind the name as much as the actual name itself which they have been using for many years.

        As for having to prove that your trademark is famous to prove dilution and confusion, I am wondering what criteria makes you “famous”. That’s interesting and good to know. That is something I would contact a lawyer and look into if ever I was in this situation.

        Good luck and keep posting as you go through this. I always enjoy your posts and this is really informative for all of the wee business owners.

  2. Sorry to hear about your problem! You are not alone – I think big companies everywhere are protecting their intellectual property more aggressively. Someone I know mentioned 3M in a newsletter and were approached by their lawyers because they didn`t use the trademark symbol and used an incorrect font. Good luck!

  3. Borka Supicic says:

    Don’t give in! As you yourself mentioned, you’re in different businesses, so it should not be a problem. Good luck! 🙂

  4. Jurjen Smies says:

    ♪ We’re not gonna take it / No, we ain’t gonna take it… ♫

    (Somebody had to say it.)

  5. Jaime says:

    There are some interesting questions here. I suspect you’ll have to do a lot of searching.

    When I first found your website, I immediately thought of the band Twisted Sister (though I’m not actually familiar with their music) and wondered if it was specifically meant to be a reference. If I Google “Twisted Sister”, the band is primarily what shows up in the results, but I can understand the band not wanting that to become further “diluted” with other companies with a similar name. And really, I’m not sure why you would want your own search results potentially muddled with the band as well as the other people who thought of naming their website/company/etc. “Twisted Sisters”. Metalsmiths, knitters, jewelers, cupcake makers, etc. It’s a cool name, but frankly, I think you can do better.

    However, I do share your concerns about where the line is between protecting your work, and simply becoming ridiculously possessive and controlling. Especially for those of us that aren’t famous, rich, or powerful. And if an entity becomes less relevant, should there be flexibility? If the entity operates on a relatively small scale, should they be allowed to continue to use the name? Obviously, numerous people are using the name “Twisted Sister” in some variation, and they’re not threatened. So the fact that this band feels threatened seems a bit ego-maniacal bullying to me.

    I don’t know. It really depends on what you feel is right for your company. You can’t really control much else. Good luck to you.

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